“Know thou of a truth that the soul, after its separation from the body, will continue to progress until it attaineth the presence of God,…” ~ Baha’u’llah
Baha’is believe in an afterlife and that every human being has an everlasting soul. That soul has a beginning, but no end. The soul is attached to the bodies much like light may seem attached to a mirror in which it is reflected. When the body ceases to function, the soul is released from this relationship and begins to transform. Baha’is are comforted by the words in the Baha’i holy texts that say, “To consider that after the death of the body the sprit perishes is like imagining that a bird in a cage will be destroyed if the cage is broken, though the bird has nothing to fear from the destruction of the cage. Our body is like the cage, and the spirit is like the bird. We see that without the cage this bird flies in the world of sleep; therefore if the cage becomes broken, the bird will continue and exist. Its feelings will be even more powerful, its perceptions greater, and its happiness increased. In truth, from hell it reaches a paradise of delights because for the thankful birds there is no paradise greater than freedom from the cage…” (Abdu’l-Baha, Fire and Gold).
Baha’is believe that death, therefore, is only a transition from the material world to the spiritual realm. After death, our lives will then be weighed before us, all the good and bad we have done will be examined. All that matters in this circumstance is how much we loved our fellow human beings while we were on earth, and how much we learned during our time here. If we lived lives of service to others, of humility, love, and generosity; then our souls will become powerful and luminous in the afterlife. If we lived lives of selfishness, greed, and suspicion—then we are called to account for our deeds and enter the next world in a state of insignificance and confusion. As the Founder of the Baha’i Faith, Baha’u’llah wrote, “Know thou of a truth that the soul, after its separation from the body, will continue to progress until it attaineth the presence of God, in a state and condition which neither the revolution of ages and centuries, nor the changes and chances of this world, can alter. It will endure as long as the Kingdom of God, His sovereignty, His dominion and power will endure. It will manifest the signs of God and His attributes, and will reveal His loving kindness and bounty. The movement of My Pen is stilled when it attempteth to befittingly describe the loftiness and glory of so exalted a station.” (Baha’u’llah, GWB, p. 155).